Suppression remains in place
A district court judge has declined jurisdiction to sentence Ewen Macdonald on six criminal charges he has admitted.
Macdonald, 32, was last month acquitted of murdering his brother-law Scott Guy over a dispute about the Aorangi Rd family farm.
The jury in the High Court at Wellington was told about Macdonald and former farm hand Callum Boe, 23, poaching deer from a neighbouring farm and destroying property on Scott and his wife Kylee Guy’s side of the farm.
But the existence of three other charges was suppressed and only revealed the day after the trial.
Further details of those charges cannot be revealed.
Macdonald made a brief appearance in the Palmerston North District Court yesterday, where a sentencing date was to be set for him.
But Judge David Smith said Macdonald’s lawyer, Greg King, and the Crown had requested that he decline jurisdiction and have the matters transferred to the High Court.
“The reasons given for the request are that [trial judge] Justice Simon France is familiar with the facts and circumstances surrounding your offending,” the judge told Macdonald, who stood in the dock looking away from the public gallery.
Judge Smith said he could normally decline to sentence someone when the overall sentence would exceed one the district court could impose, but that was not the situation today.
However, in the overall interests of justice and because both the defence and prosecution had asked him to refer the matter on, he would.
“I’m prepared to accept that indication and exercise my discretion to decline jurisdiction.”
The High Court in Wellington this afternoon confirmed Macdonald will appear for sentence on the six charges on September 14.
Suppression orders would remain in place on the three charges the murder trial did not hear about.
The jury did get told about the shooting of two deer on Colyton farmer Craig Hocken’s property overnight on December 30 and 31, 2006.
Macdonald and Boe took and disposed of the carcasses.
On October 24, 2008, the pair burned down and old house on a removal trailer ready to be taken away from Scott and Kylee Guy’s side of the family farm.
And overnight on January 30 and 31, 2009, Macdonald and Boe destroyed the inside of the Guys’ newly built house, with Macdonald inflicting blows with a splitting axe.
On the outside of the house he painted the words: “f…. whore” and “f….. bitch slapper”.
Nobody from the Guy family was present in court today, but Macdonald’s parents Kerry and Marlene did show up.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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